If April showers bring May flowers, March’s grey skies and damp days bring the need for a few signs of springtime. Thankfully, there are places like Sweet Woodruff, a fabulous floral design studio in chilly Toronto, that feels like a summary slice of paradise all year ‘round.

Founder and creative director Lisa Gray has been helping make life's biggest events and special moments more beautiful since 2010. When it's time to treat herself – she turns to books. We caught up her to discuss how she fits reading into her busy life.


10:00 am: Early morning shipments are a great way to wake up and start the day. I love my job, but it's not all roses--working with flowers is very physical!


I work with an amazing team! When we're all in the studio together preparing for a big event, we have a lot of time to talk to eachother. I get a lot of my recommendations this way--talking about TV, books, or podcasts while I put together an arrangement. Last year I read Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling on a recommendation from one of the girls and loved it. 



11:30: Time to answer emails and get a little administrative work out of the way. When I'm not on site, I spend most of my time here in my office. I keep my eReader around just in case I have a little time for a break (a luxury I don't always have). It's nice though that if I do get a recommendation from a customer or colleague, I can just search for the book and download a preview on the spot.

The vintage sign with numbers on it was a present from my friend. 05/05/2012 was the day I opened my first storefront shop. It also happens to be my birthday! The framed paintings of flowers were my mom's when she was young--I think they add a nice touch of home.

Right now I'm reading Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth GilbertI'm also reading Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek. When you're an entrepreneur and your job is 24/7, it can be difficult to find balance. Reading about how other business owners successfully juggle work, family, and self is really inspiring to me.

I remember the moment when I knew that I wanted to work with flowers for a living. Actually, it was kind of a eureka moment. Early in my twenties, after going to school for interior design and getting a job in marketing, I hadn't yet found my calling. One day I was reading through Vogue and I saw a feature on "Flower Girl NYC". The photos were so beautiful and the story so compelling that I knew right then and there, what I wanted to do. Just shows you the power stories have on us! I'm proud to say that the real life Flower Girl NYC now follows me on Instagram!

1:00pm: The day is long from over, but I'm already looking forward to curling up in bed with a book--tonight it'll probably be Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. With plenty of surprises to come, at least I know what I'll be reading later.


2:15pm: Staff are putting the finishing touches on some arrangements and I'm preparing to meet with a client. That means braving the cold. 


Toss my book back in my purse and I'm off.


Lisa Gray's Reading List: